Sunday, August 30, 2015

Rick Spielman

Image courtesy of Vikings.com

The big moment is almost here; in less than three days, the 2015 NFL Draft will kick off at the Auditorium Theatre in windy Chicago.

Knowing Vikings general manager Rick Spielman, the trade winds have been blowing steadily in Winter Park. If we’re to believe past draft trends, “Slick Rick” will snake and slither his way to nine or 10 total picks in 2015, adding to his current total of seven.

Accumulating young talent through the draft is key to staying competitive in a talented NFC North — the Packers and Lions reached the playoffs last year. Both teams select after the Vikings (30th and 23rd, respectively), and the rebuilding Bears have a chance to improve immediately with the 7th-overall selection.

Below, we’ll look at each team in the context of Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay’s most recent mock draft, which aired on ESPN late last week:

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SPOILER: The Vikings End Up with THREE First Round Picks 

Everyone and their mother is on “MOCK DRAFT 79.8!”, but we here at Purple FTW are back with our 2nd Annual “Only Mock Draft! (v1.0)”. Check out how we did last year. We we’re all in on Teddy (took him at #8), so it was a massive win for the Vikings to grab both him AND Barr in the 1st. We whiffed on all the other picks. #YOLO

Enjoy this year’s Only Mock Draft. A full rundown will be posted in a few days because… We want you to listen first! (SPOILER: There are trades. Because Slick Rick gets busy at the Draft like me at Popeyes chicken. #Biscuits)

All that and more on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast! An Andy Carlson Joint.

Rick Spielman

[NOTE FROM BRETT: At the beginning of April, we posted an article by Ryan Boser that detailed the draft tendencies of Rick Spielman. Ryan is back just a few days before the 2015 draft begins to emulate Spielman’s draft habits through a mock draft. Ryan contributes at a number of different places and is a fantasy football guru with some great draft takes. You should definitely follow him on Twitter and check out his blog, Out of My League.]

Hi, I’m Ryan. My name is in the byline, but this is not my mock draft. Let me explain…

Three weeks ago, I did an eight-year study of Rick Spielman’s draft tendencies with the Vikings. You should probably check it out, because this mock is based solely on the findings of that study, and I’ll be referencing it throughout. Again, these aren’t my picks. This is essentially an automated Spielman simulation, so please direct your complaints to SlickRick@Vikings.NFL.net.

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Offensive linemen, in my experience, are some of the hardest position to predict when it comes to which round or day they will be drafted. Look no further than Vikings lineman Antonio Richardson for an example of how different projections can be from reality.

Wisconsin offensive tackle Rob Havenstein could potentially go as high as the third round, especially if Arif Hasan’s consensus Big Board is any indication (he’s #100), but I also see him as a guy that potentially falls well into Day Three.

Most people are plenty familiar with Wisconsin’s dominant run game last season, with Melvin Gordon stealing all of the hype and accolades as the benefiting running back. Gordon is certainly deserving of his status among the best backs in this year’s class, but the offensive line that paved his way every Saturday should not be ignored, including Havenstein.

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